Dive Great Barrier Reef & Cairns [ST-DiveSOFa]
11 Days: Dive Great Barrier Reef & Cairns [ST-DiveSOFa]
Starting at
$4,086
Per Person
View Details
Highlights & Inclusions
  • Must depart the US on a Monday
  • Accommodation - Cairns (1 Night), Live-Aboard Dive Expedition (7), Cairns (1)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Brisbane (Return)
  • US Domestic Flights are not included. Please inquire for flight pricing to be included.
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Cairns (Return)
  • Shuttle Transfers - Cairns Airport to Accommodation (Return)
  • Overnight Tours Included - Cairns: 7 Night Liveaboard Dive Expedition Great Barrier Reef
  • Live-Aboard Diving Expedition includes: Transfers to/ from Cairns city accommodation, Opportunity for 24 to 26 dives, En-suite cabin with daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wines & soft drinks with evening meal.
  • All Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
Day 1 (Monday) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane

Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Brisbane.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airline at check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record (if applicable).

Day 2 - Australian Domestic Flight, Brisbane to Cairns

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Cairns.

Day 2 - Shuttle Transfer, Cairns Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.

Days 2 to 3 - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.

Days 3 to 10 (Thursday - Thursday) - 7 Nights on a Live Aboard Diving Expedition

For Live-Aboard diving enthusiasts this live aboard dive trip represents the ultimate dive vacation. Dives include Osprey Reef, on the Coral Sea with other sites such as Cod Hole, Dynamite Pass, North Horn, Bougainville Reef, Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom and Flare Point. With Gourmet Meals and the Outstanding Level of Service you will feel like you are aboard your own private yacht.

Day 1: Depart Cairns & Dive

Board Spirit of Freedom at 11:15am at Trinity Wharf (complimentary transfers from Cairns city hotels are available) for a 12 noon departure. Lunch will be served on board while we cruise to the Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon orientation dive and a twilight or night dive.

Days 2 & 3: Diving Ribbon Reefs

These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 Ribbon Reefs, 120 miles to the north of Cairns. You will dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Day 2. On Day 3 you will overnight at beautiful Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.

Day 4: Mountain Walk & More Diving

This morning some of guests will depart at Lizard Island and some new guests will join the vessel. There will be time for a morning walk on the island. This afternoon we will have the opportunity for two dives at a choice of sites such as the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Challenger Bay before departing in the evening for the Coral Sea.

Days 5 & 6: Dive Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef. Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renowned for crystal clear water with average visibility in excess of 100 feet. Two days can be spent diving at Osprey Reef, including North Horn, well known for its shark action. You can expect to see grey whalers, silvertips, reef sharks, occasional hammerheads, schooling barracuda, trevally, and other pelagics. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from thousands of feet below.

Day 7: Dive Bougainville Reef or in the Ribbon Reefs

After overnight travel back to the Great Barrier Reef arrive at Ribbon Reefs Number 3 where you will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. A second option for this day, in special weather conditions, is to head south from Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape and caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. This evening you will cruise overnight back to Cairns.

Day 8: Arrive in Cairns

Arrive Cairns approximately 06:30am. Breakfast will be served on board and hotel transfer will be arranged for approx 07:30am.

Operates
Departs Cairns every Thursday at 12:00pm & returns to Cairns every Thursday at 8:00am

Need to Know
Please note that above itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary, or the sequence may change. Access to the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is weather conditional and while every attempt will be made to keep to the advertised itinerary, the Coral Sea and specific sites on the Great Barrier Reef are not guaranteed.

Diver experience recommendation: Advanced Diver certification with minimum 20 ocean dives including 5 dives in the last 12 months.

Diver Health: If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a medical clearance. For further details refer to our Diver Information form or contact our Reservations team.

Luggage Restrictions: Due to light aircraft restrictions, your total weight of your luggage is limited to 20 kilograms/ 45 lb per person, including your dive gear and carry-on luggage.

Snorkelers: The (at times) deeper reefs tops and swift currents of the Coral Sea, make the Coral Sea reefs only suitable for very experienced snorkelers and strong swimmers with a high level of fitness. You may not be able to snorkel at every site. Please note that while you may be safe under the watchful eye of the ‘look-out’ crew, a snorkel buddy may not always be available and you may be required to snorkel alone and to wear floatation equipment.

Room Types Available are: Ocean View Deluxe, Ocean View Standard, Stateroom, Double/Twin, Quad Share (paired with other divers)

Days 10 to 11 - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included), Wildlife Dome plus Koala Photo

Discover a unique wildlife park in the heart of Cairns complete with wildlife encounters and a challenge ropes course!

At Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome located in the heart of the city, you can explore the sights, sounds and secrets of the rainforest wildlife in this spectacular enclosed glass dome wildlife exhibit. Immerse yourself in the replicated rainforest environment while different species of birds fly freely and pet the roaming wallabies in their enclosure. Enjoy the complimentary guided tours, daily interactive animal presentations, and great photo opportunities. You’ll have a blast as you watch the afternoon feedings, get up close with a crocodile, watch the free flying birds, cuddle with furry friends and watch the nocturnal creatures awaken. Cuddle a koala and have your photo taken for the ultimate Aussie souvenir! The dome is within walking distance of your accommodation and your ticket is good for re-entry for up to 4 days.

Show & Presentation Schedule:

10:00am Morning Feeding Tour (Meet at Cockatoo Corner)
11:00am Reptile Show (Meet at the Presentation Stage)
1:00pm Koala Talk (Meet at the Koala Photo area at reception)
2:00pm Reptile Show (Meet at the Presentation Stage)
3:00pm Crocodile Show (Meet at the top boardwalk next to Goliath’s enclosure)
4:00pm Afternoon Feeding Tour (Meet at Cockatoo Corner)
5:00pm Nocturnal Mammals (Meet at the Presentation Stage)

Koala photos are taken daily on the half hour from 9:30am to 6:30pm, and reptile photos (additional expense) are taken daily on the hour from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Please meet at the Koala Photo Area at Reception five minutes prior. (Photo times are subject to without notice) Last Reptile photo is at 4:30pm

Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome is home to the world’s first Challenge Ropes Course in a wildlife park! If you are looking for some adventure, be sure to add-on a ZOOM activity.

Operates Daily (Excluding Christmas, December 25); 9:00am – 6:15pm Sunday – Friday & 9:00am – 8:00pm Saturday

Need to Know Children (0-3 years) FOC. Minimum age for any ZOOM activity is 6 years. Height & Weight Restrictions apply to ZOOM Activities (not included). Pre-existing medical conditions: It is your responsibility to assess whether you are fit enough to take part in ZOOM activities. A waiver will be required.
  
Inclusions 4-Day Entry Ticket for Shows, Presentations, and Koala Photo
  
Upgrades Reptile Photo; Private Wildlife Experience; Zoom Activities, choose 1 or more: Mid-ZOOM or Hi-Zoom – Experience adventure at varying heights and levels of difficulty on the Mid-ZOOM and Hi-ZOOM courses, with 65 elements of crossings and ziplines: including one which takes you directly over our 13 foot saltwater crocodile! The PowerJump – a free-fall adventure with a 13m drop; DomeClimb – offers spectacular views of the city, the Coral Sea and surrounding landscapes. The Pirate Climb; Commando Rope Climb; Slack Line

Optional Tour (Not Included) - Dinner Cruise

A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Enjoy the Ultimate waterside dining on a lovely sail boat.

Set sail aboard the newly refurbished 26-metre catamaran on the calm waters of Trinity Inlet, for an evening of dining, entertainment, and panoramic mountain and city views.

The ultimate in waterfront dining, your cruise includes a gourmet buffet style dinner, complimentary beverage on arrival, live entertainment, and (optional!) dancing after dinner. A selection of beverages and cocktails are also available for purchase from our fully licensed bar.

Operates

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Need to Know

One way transfers from Northern Beaches accommodations to the Cairns Marlin Marina available. Drop offs are by own arrangement.

Times

Boarding time is from 6:00pm – 6:15pm at Cairns Marlin Marina with departure at 6:30pm. Returns at 8:30pm.

Inclusions

– 2 hour calm water evening cruise
– Luxurious air-conditioned vessel with large outdoor decks
– Complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer or soft drink on arrival
– Delicious hot and cold buffet, featuring fresh seafood and local produce.
– Live entertainment

Optional Tour (Not Included) - Outback Tasting Tour

The tropical delights of the Atherton Tablelands. Cairns’ Favorite Food & Wine Tour, Outback Tasting Adventures.


Wines, Beers, Spirits, Cheeses, Coffee, Chocolate, Tropical Fruits, Indigenous Damper & Jams and Platypus viewing! This unique food and wine experience from Cairns will be tasting some of the best food and wine that the Atherton Tablelands has to offer. You will be taken through a variety of contrasting landscapes from lush rainforest, crops, dairyland to stunning ochre savannah plains.



The rich volcanic soil allows farmers to grow many and diverse crops from bananas, coffee, sugar cane, avocados, mangoes, macadamia nuts, citrus and more which you will learn about as you taste your way around the regions ‘Food Bowl.’

Sit back and relax, take in the beautiful views as you are taken on a fascinating and tasty journey through another gem of Far North Queensland. (time permitting you will also stop to buy incredible fresh produce along the way)

Tour departs Cairns: 8:30am – returns 6:00pm; June – October: Tuesday thru Saturday; November – May: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
Maximum 12 Persons; Not Suitable for Children (older teenagers considered)

Insider's Tip: The Esplanade in Cairns

Experience the leisure atmosphere at the playground for locals and tourists alike at The Esplanade in Cairns!

With so many activities available The Esplanade has always been a focal point for this city. This is a place that literally has everything! Take a stroll and do some bird watching on the boardwalk but as you enjoy the views don’t forget to stop off at Foreshore Promenade for a bite to eat at the many available restaurants. Access to The Lagoon is easy here which is set overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity inlet and features all year free swimming where you can take a dip in this filtered saltwater lagoon. Let the kids can play in the sandy edges and in the shallow waters while you lounge on the semi-shaded timber decks. For the kids, don’t miss out on the Trinity Bay foreshore playground “Muddy” with equipment for all ages. For the older kids, stop off at the Skate Park to see some skaters and BMXers in action! Whether you decide to take a morning jog, fly a kite or just relax in the large grassy areas for some lunch you will surely enjoy the tropical lifestyle!

If you happen to be in Cairns on a Saturday be sure to check out the Weekend Markets which feature only locally made arts and crafts, clothing and much more. While you’re there listen out for the live music and fun street characters. The market gets into full swing on the promenade (just by the lagoon) every Saturday between 8am – 4pm.

Lagoon Hours: All Year, 6am-9pm
Closed Wednesdays until midday for maintenance

Day 11 - Shuttle Transfer, Cairns Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.

Departures occur approximately 30 minutes after aircraft arrival-time for domestic flights. For international flights this will be considerably longer because of customs and other formalities.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.

Day 11 - Australian Domestic Flight, Cairns to Brisbane

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.

Day 11 - International Flight, Brisbane to Los Angeles

Mid-day Departure from Brisbane, In-flight Dinner and Movie with arrival in the USA. Note: You will be traveling back across the International Date line so you will gain a day. You actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Australia.

 
Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $4,086 $6,913 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $5,601 $8,428 Nov 22 2022 - Nov 11 2023
Select USA Departures: NOV 22 - DEC 5, 2022; JAN 3 - JUN 28 & JUL 24 - NOV 11. Expires JUL 14
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Basic (Economy Class) $5,908 $8,734 Basic: May 1 - Jun 8 & Jul 24 - Sep 21, 2022. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Shoulder (Economy Class) $6,011 $8,837 Shoulder: Feb 1 - Apr 30, Jun 9 - Jul 23 & Sep 22 - Dec 8, 2022. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Peak (Economy Class) $6,721 $9,547 Peak: Dec 9, 2022 - Jan 31, 2023. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Premium (Economy Class) $7,701 $10,527 Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Business Class $10,607 $13,434 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
First Class $25,511 $28,338 First Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.

Packages by About Australia, a fully bonded and ARC Accredited travel company.